Political Upheaval Puts Lib Dem Election Success "Up For Grabs", Says Former Party Leader

20 July 2019, 10:19 | Updated: 20 July 2019, 19:12

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats Lord Ming Campbell tells Andrew Pierce "quite remarkable" political circumstances mean "everything's up for grabs" for the party if an early election is called.

The former leader said the two candidates in the party's leadership contest are "finely balanced" making the decision of who to succeed Sir Vince Cable "a difficult choice", adding "both would make a very good leader of the party in these quite remarkable circumstances of which offer a great opportunity for the Liberal Democrats".

Ed Davey and Jo Swinson have gone head to head in the race to become the next Lib Dem leader after Sir Vince announced he was to step down in May.

Lib Dem leadership candidates Jo Swinson and Ed Davey
Lib Dem leadership candidates Jo Swinson and Ed Davey. Picture: Getty

Andrew Pierce said: "You've got the Tory party knocking spots off each other - even now there's talk of there being a confidence motion backed by Tory MPs to bring down Boris Johnson to stop a no-deal Brexit.

"And a new poll come out today shows 4 in 10 Labour voters don't want Jeremy Corbyn to be their leader and 20% of them who intend to vote Labour in the next general election don't want him to be Prime Minister!

"It's astonishing!"

Lord Campbell replied: "It's the wreck of two great parties. It just shows that Europe has for a long time been something which the Conservative Party really can not get its head round collectively, and of course as far as Labour is concerned, there is this continuing running saw of anti-Semitism.

"I don't believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitism, what I don't understand is why he hasn't used his authority as leader to deal with this matter."